How can stale bread and grated old carrots possibly be decadent?
Trust me they are when you make them into a wartime “Duke Pudding”…
Seeing the rapidly drying bread on my counter top and the carrots beginning to get spotty in the fridge, it was time once again to turn nothing into something in true 1940s home-front style and create a truly delicious alternative comfort food, much needed today of all days. It’s that certain time of the month, you see, when every female on the planet synchronizes, every chocolate shelf in every store is empty, and only a long night of undisturbed Brad Pitt movies will suffice (I got that from a friend) and every man, child and beast should consider moving out for 48 hours…
Duke Pudding is the 1940s equivalent of chocolate… it is, really it is. Today I was very nice to everyone…
- Soak 2 breakfast cups of stale bread (about 5-6 slices) in a little cold water then squeeze the water out until it is as dry as possible.
- Beat out lumps with a fork
- Add two tablespoons of fat or margarine (I used 2 dessertspoons or 4 teaspoons), 2 tablespoons of sugar (3 tablespoons in North America), 3 tablespoons of dried fruit (4 tablespoons in the US), small teacup full of grated carrot (1 large carrot), 1 teaspoon of mixed spice or cinnamon.
- Stir 1 flat teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda into a few teaspoons of milk and mix and then blend well into the mixture
- Spread evenly into a well greased tart tin or pie dish and cook in a moderate oven for 30-40 minutes.
The syrup on the plate is a drizzle of maple syrup (would have been readily available during WW2 here in Canada)… if I could get some it would have been Lyles Golden Syrup (used for lots of wartime cooking in the UK)
I have a question about beating out the lumps with a fork. Since I am supposed to squeeze all the water out, I’m not sure about this fork beating to get the lumps out. Is it more of a fluffing to de-clump it?
Basically it is just breaking down the lumpy bits of bread so they all kind of congeal together. What I do first is take my 6 slices of bread and stack them and take a sharp bread knife and cut them up into small cubes, put them in a bowl and drizzle on some cold water so all the bread gets damp then squeeze … C xx
What kind of bread did you use? Thanks!
Same as making bread pudding, you squash it with your hands. That solid dark bread pudding was a staple food for me during and long after the war. I have made it numerous times in recent years too.
Recently tried this and thoroughly enjoyed it with lashings of Alpro custard! So glad I did, thank you for sharing, this is the perfect recipe to make something delicious from really not very much at all. Just what we need right now.
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